I think I'm turning into a curmudgeon. I look at a nineteen year-old who has giant plugs (is that what they're called?) in his ears and wonder how he'll feel about them when he's 30. And I hope that he's good enough of an artist or musician or creative genius that he can make a good living despite his physical embellishments. Because that would be awesome.
Being aware that I sound like an old biddy gives me an opportunity to keep my opinions to myself, and last night was another opportunity for me to do so. And I did, because in the end it really is a small thing, but it does make me wonder. I was at a sporting event and once again during the National Anthem there were people around me totally not paying attention.
The man in his 60s four rows below me shouting and trying to get the attention of a friend of his somewhere behind me. The drunk college girl cramming a chili dog into her mouth and flirting with the guys around her. The bustle of people still finding their seats, kids tugging their parents sleeve for attention, others texting.
I'm not old enough to hearken to some golden era of patriotism, although I would say that in the months after 9/11 such behavior would not have been tolerated. And even if you aren't from a military / Foreign Service family, or a new immigrant (the Ethiopians behind me!) I just think we have enough shared history that you can take a few minutes to keep silent, even if you don't sing along. Right? And if not, why not? What has changed?